This week, we’re focusing our attention on a young poet. She’s spilling out her love, her mystery, and her torment onto the weathered pages of her own healing journey. She’s giving us a glimpse into her inner world – and with that we see that age of the body and mind cannot equal the age of the soul. Her words are so familiar, yet unfettered, it leaves a feeling of mixed reverie and haunted revelations.
Don’t miss this indie talent, friends. Read on…
I’m Robin, an 18 year old author living in southern Pennsylvania. I’m an introverted bookworm, a crazy cat lady, and I’m obsessed with all things Harry Potter. I have two poetry anthologies published: Dear Nobody and Scars of Apollo.
“I write stories to get away from this. I include my friends so they can come with me.” – Owen Barr (my best friend)
I love the minimalism of your book covers; simple yet defining.
Folks, see more of Robin’s available works by visiting her Amazon Author Profile (Robin Williams).
What life experience first led you to know that you are a writer?
When I joined two writing apps and saw all the love for my work and how I was helping people, i knew then that this was what i wanted to do. Help myself and others through writing.
What writing apps do you use to share your work? You mentioned having joined 2 in the past that garnered some attention to your writing…are those still something you use?
My main app is Instagram. I post work on my account daily. Sometimes I’ll post some work on my website, and just recently I’ve gotten back onto Wattpad, an app I started with first when showcasing my work.
How do you come up with your ideas?
Most of the time, I use my own experiences, other times I pull inspiration from music, other authors, and shows.
What kind of music brings the most inspiration to your work? Do you have a favorite author or poet that you draw inspiration from?
I love listening to instrumentals to clear my mind of clutter and gather ideas. Other times, depending on if I want an angry piece, I’ll listen to some angry beats and that usually gets the creativity going. I don’t particularly have a favorite poet, but anything I read and I find an interesting line or concept, I tend to experiment with that in my own work.
What is a typical example of your daily writing practice?
I usually stare at a screen for a good long minute before I think of something kinda good. A lot of my writing, though, happens at night when I’m most creative.
What would you say is the most common trap new authors fall into?
Maybe uncertainty? Wondering if they made the right choice or if the outcome will be what they’d expected.
How do you publish your works?
I self publish through KDP on Amazon.
I know a lot of indie authors utilize this platform. What’s the best way you’ve found to submit your work through them? Do you use a software provided by KDP or do you use another program to collect and format your writing?
I use the majority of everything KDP has to offer. Once I have my revisions and formatting all done in Docs, KDP makes it simple to finish everything I need to have my book up in the market. I personally don’t know of any other services quite like KDP, but I’m happy with the results every time.
How do you research for your writing?
My primary writing focus is based on my own experiences, so I don’t need to really research. But if I’m writing a political piece, I try to get all sides of the story before forming an opinion.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I began writing poetry in my freshman year of high school when I was very depressed and often times suicidal. Poetry became my way of coping and reaching out, and since then, it’s been an art I’m madly in love with.
What is your latest work about? What have you learned from writing it?
My latest work is titled Scars of Apollo and as the title hints, it talks about Scars, and light. It was a big turning point for me because I’d always primarily written about the bad things in my life, and this time, I had started my healing process and showed it in my work. I learned, and I hope others do too, that although many pages are filled with not so bright days, in the end, it’s going to be okay.
Would you share something from your work here with us?
The following poem is an example of my work, as shared on my Instagram:
What’s the most important thing you could tell readers about your book/work before they read it?
It’s heavy. The majority of my topics are not easy to stomach, and if at any time when reading you need to take a break, do so. Put yourself and your care first always.
What is one of the most crucial experiences from your life that has inspired your work?
Definitely my mental health and trauma. As unfortunate as it is, it’s definitely shaped me into the person I am today that I’m happy to say I wouldn’t ever change.
What’s the biggest hurdle or challenge you’ve had to overcome as a writer?
The insecurity and intimidation from other writers. When I first started, I always compared myself to the more well-known writers and held alot of doubt that I was ever going to get that far.
If you could go back to when you were just getting started as an author, what advice would you give yourself?
Don’t worry about the numbers. Don’t rush it. Put your heart into it and you will succeed.
Is there a topic or genre you’d like to write on that you haven’t yet?
Young adult, or anything very story-lined. I’ve attempted, but felt like I failed. I’d love to try again.
How many WIP (works in progress) do you currently have?
Are they all poetry anthologies? Can you give us a hint as to what may be coming next from you?
My three works in progress will all be poetry, one possibly a novel in verse. The Edge of Hope is the title I’m currently working on, as I’ve given my deadline in September, and it focuses on the theme of climate change and plastic consumption.
You said that you felt you failed when you tried your hand at young adult fiction. Would you mind elaborating? In what ways do you feel your work needed improving or adjusting? I know for me, as a writer of mostly non-fiction and some poetry, I find the most difficult part of writing fiction is the necessity to paint elaborate scenes in the minds of readers. For you, what about writing this genre has been the most challenging? And, in what ways would you go about improving your skills?
A lot of the times I felt like I was adding too much description, too much figurative language that took too much away from the norms of fiction writing. I definitely would need improvement with my character development and it wouldn’t hurt to review plot techniques; my boyfriend and I sometimes write stories together which has helped in getting my ideas out, but without the stress and pressure of doing it all by myself. But for now, I think I’ll stick with writing poetry as my main, and a bit of fiction on the side.
How do you handle negative feedback or constructive criticism?
I try to work with it. Often, it does put a notch in me, but I know in the end it’s for the best.
What part of your creative process requires the most energy and effort from you?
The selection of poems that will make the final cut. I Iove alot of my work, but will I love it all together is the question.
Tell us about your support system? How have those who support you in your work helped you along the way?
My sister and my boyfriend have been major support systems throughout my life. They’ve encouraged me, cheered me on, picked me up, and quite frankly, sometimes even told me to grow up when needed. Without them, this wouldn’t have been possible.
What’s the most emotionally uncomfortable scene or topic you’ve ever written?
I had written a letter about the things I had regretted and the whole topic was about my sexual assault and reporting it. It took me a long time to minimize the guilt I felt and even still, it’s a relevant piece.
Is writing your full time “job” or do you have other work?
Currently my full time ‘job.’
Name a book that has:
Inspired you as a person or a professional.
Made you laugh.
Made you cry.
Changed your life.
Author Name: Robin Williams